Irrational fears: Ghosts and Sharks (and a little snake too)

We’re all afraid of something, right? Some are afraid of heights, others fear flying, my husband is TERRIFIED of snakes.


Yes, he’s even afraid of snakes this small. You may proceed to make fun of him.
(Courtesy TonyAlter via Flickr)

Some of these fears are rational and others aren’t. I personally have a few irrational fears. At the top of my list: sharks. I’m 100% sure this stemmed from the movie Jaws–thanks a lot Spielberg.


Courtesy Steve Garner via Flickr

Swimming in the pool, the ominous music plays in my head (you know what I’m talking about) and I wonder if one could be lurking behind me. In a dark, Colorado reservoir I’m sure one is circling below. Any moment the fin of death will show itself and I’ll be a goner.

Snorkeling off the coast of Mexico, I cursed my husband’s choppy swimming style. His legs thrashed and kicked the water, splashing around like a dying fish. Was he trying to lure them to us??? Doesn’t he know they can sense erratic movements?!?

Needless to say, we survived, only to face another one of my irrational fears: ghosts.

We drove through the vine-covered gates and down the oak-canopied driveway.

vine gates


Decomposing white shacks flanked the road. These were the old slave quarters. Up ahead, the mansion stood proud with secondary buildings on either side. There were sleeping quarters in the main house, the converted kitchen and the schoolhouse.

The innkeeper menacingly informed us that there was just one other couple staying the night. (I’m just kidding; she was very sweet and obviously harmless… at first glance)

We dropped our bags and headed off to explore the former rice plantation, established in 1718.

Slave quarters

Weaving through the rotting buildings, we contemplated whether it was right to be staying on land that once enslaved hundreds. It was then that the kernel of fear was planted. My husband reflected on how many people were probably buried there, in unmarked graves.

Sleep wouldn’t come that night. I positioned myself in the center of the bed, pressed against my husband (because they can only get you if you’re near the edge, right?).


This is what I pictured was happening outside our room.
(Courtesy of Johnxfire via Flickr)

Around four in the morning I had to pee. Every time I opened my eyes I expected to see someone standing there. I held it until morning. Even my husband admitted he was freaked out.

At breakfast the other couple made the requisite chitchat. But soon the conversation turned to the ghosts. The other couple sensed them as well!

He started going on about the guest book and how the innkeeper said no one had stayed over the last week. But someone had signed the book just yesterday. She told of how at lunch in the nearby town, a local asked where they were staying. When she said the name of the place, the local had never heard of it.

Did it even exist? Were we lured there like in a scary movie?

The innkeeper served the main course, informing us that she had checked her husband out of some sort of facility and he was living in one of the refurbished slave quarters. But we weren’t to worry, he never left the bedroom. Uh, anyone see the movie Skeleton Key?

her house

Where the innkeeper and her, uh, husband lived.

We asked if we could see the other rooms of the inn (most B&Bs let you do this). She said the other rooms weren’t clean. Sure… we thought. All these other rooms and none of them were clean? That must be where the bodies are kept.

The other couple talked about checking out. We pondered the same thing. But, it was agreed that we would all stay and meet by the fire pit that night–in the scary movie world, this would have sealed our doom.

It was dark when we returned. We turned off the highway and found the first gate closed, but not locked. That’s strange. The innkeeper said the gate was never closed. The other couple wasn’t back yet and we feared they wouldn’t return. An hour later they showed. We had a few drinks, shared our fears and finally went to bed.

our room light

The door leading into our room.

our room

The first picture wasn’t scary enough, so I did as much editing as I know how to make it look creepy. Are you scared now?

Of course, I couldn’t sleep. I sensed them–the ghosts. They were definitely there and going to get us. For what, I don’t know.

The next morning we told the innkeeper about the first gate being closed. Her eyes opened wide and she stuttered. It was strange she kept saying. She didn’t close the gate. Who would close the gate?

The girl from the other couple was a wreck. They were on their honeymoon and thinking of cutting it short. We parted ways, never to see them again.

Looking back this was the most scared of ghosts I have ever been, save my haunted college house and the ghosts that haunted me after watching Paranormal Activity.

People ask me why I’m so afraid of ghosts and not, say a burglar. Well it’s quite obvious and rational, I think. A burglar I can fight. I have a chance. With a ghost, what am I going to do? Call Ghostbusters?

Just like with a shark. I’m more afraid of them than, say a mountain lion. Why? Because I feel like I can try to fight a mountain lion. I could even use bear spray. With a shark, what am I going to do? Out-swim it? Pretend I’m a bigger, scary shark? I doubt it.

And now, to add to my irrational fear of sharks, there is the sharknado…


Really? Now I have to worry about this?
I do live in an area that gets tornadoes…
(courtesy of ZennieAbraham via Flickr)

What are your irrational fears? Are you afraid of ghosts, snakes or public speaking? Are you permanently traumatized from a movie or book you read? Did you watch the movie Sharknado?